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Proximate and fatty acid composition of zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) muscle and subcutaneous fat

Hoffman, Louwrens C, Geldenhuys, Greta, Cawthorn, Donna‐Mareè
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2016 v.96 no.11 pp. 3922-3927
Equus, exports, fatty acid composition, food security, game animals, lipid content, longissimus muscle, marketing, meat, nutrient databanks, nutrition education, nutritive value, polyunsaturated fatty acids, product labeling, protein content, proximate composition, saturated fatty acids, subcutaneous fat, zebras, South Africa
BACKGROUND: The meat from African game species is healthy, naturally produced and increasingly popular with consumers. Among these species, zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) are growing in number in South Africa, with the meat from surplus animals holding potential to contribute to food security and economic stability. Despite being consumed locally and globally, little information exists on the composition of zebra meat. This study aimed to determine the proximate composition of zebra meat as well as the fatty acid composition of the intramuscular (IMF) and subcutaneous (SCF) fat. RESULTS: Zebra longissimus lumborum muscle was shown to have a high mean protein content (22.29 g per 100 g) and low mean fat content (1.47 g per 100 g). High proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were found in the IMF (41.15%) and SCF (37.71%), mainly comprising α‐linolenic (C18:3n‐3) and linoleic (C18:2n‐6) acids. Furthermore, the IMF and SCF had favourable PUFA/saturated fatty acid ratios (>0.4) and omega‐6/omega‐3 ratios (<4), indicating that both components are healthy lipid food sources. CONCLUSION: This study has shed new light on the nutritional value of zebra meat, which will not only be important for food product labelling, nutritional education and incorporation into food composition databases, but will also be indispensable for marketing and export purposes. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry